Thursday, September 11, 2008

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Let's go with the bad and get it over with....

Last week (9/1-9/5)
Lonely. That about sums it up. Wow. I didn't realize just how lonely I would feel and it was hard. Very hard.

I guess it kicked in big time on the girls first day of class. Clearly the girls did fine and we had a great time. But I was feeling isolated.

When other kids go off for their first day of kindergarten, grandparents come over, pictures are taken, friends call, and there is so much excitement. Well it just didn't happen that way around here. But we survived it.

My daughter, K, informed me more than once that she'd rather go to school. She let me know that she wanted to go to class everyday. And she made it clear at times that she didn't want to be at home. But she survived it too.

I was facing a few other issues as well, not directly related to homeschooling. They definitely impacted my mood and temperament.

I had NO doubt that this would be a rough transitional year for me. I am one of the only gals in my close group of friends who is homeschooling. I was expecting there to be change, but I wasn't really prepared for it. By the time we are done and I am ready to chat with someone on the phone for a bit, their children are just getting home on the bus and I know it isn't a good time to call. That is the time they have to transition back as a family, share the day, and get ready for dinner.

But I needed some friends to talk to. And I needed to discuss what was going on with homeschooling. And there just wasn't anyone that least it was feeling that way.

And then all of this led to questioning myself and my ability to survive this choice. I also began to entertain the thoughts that K would really be better off in school. I was just SURE they were doing more than I could provide. I was SURE that she'd have more fun there. And it was getting me down.

So how about the good news?

God just knew the struggles in my heart and sent me support. At the end of the rough week a homeschooling friend came over to look at a computer program. Four hours later, I had finally talked through some of my homeschool struggles. She also asked me some really good questions about ME and they got me thinking...still thinking on those.

This week (9/8-9/12) has been so much better!

I went to a homeschool group for moms on Monday and it was just what I needed. In fact, another mom there shared some of the struggles on her mind. She is new to homeschooling and going through the same lonliness and transition with friends. It was great to hear someone voice the same struggle.

The talk that night inspired my week and set a perfect tone to it. I didn't feel so alone. I had a support network out there and I began to do what I do best...PLAN. I began to gather names of people to have some playdates with and friends to call when I need to exchange babysitting or voice a homeschool concern.

I set out to focus on the BEST things about homeschooling all week and boy did it help! Anytime we were doing something fun, extra-special, or unique to homeschooling I would mention it to the girls.

Isn't it great that we can color outside in the middle of the day because you are both at home with me?

Aren't you glad we can lay here reading together because you aren't in school all day?

I am so glad we can scooter to the Bagel Bin together on Thursdays! It's so awesome that you are home all day to do school, isn't it?

It kept me focused on the things we WERE doing instead of the things I was convinced that my kids were missing. I think it helped K (age 5) too!

Focusing on all that we were doing also helped me realize that we were accomplishing a TON each day and it was only taking about 1.5 hours. I began to embrace that fact instead of question it.

THEN I had a great night Wednesday night and some of the outside issues I was struggling with were worked out. And that was a huge weight lifted off me.

I have ended this week feeling refreshed, energized, and so ready to keep at it! God knew the perfect timing to send in some much needed support!

I'll sum up the fun lessons in pictures and such soon. It's been a good week!


Johanna said...

I think that I have said this before, but I ADORE your "realness" in your posts!! It is such an encouragement to me to see God showing you lights in the dark moments! Homeschooling is a hard choice....doubts are a part of it, unfortunately. But, when we follow God's calling, we can be sure that he has a purpose in it, that far exceeds ours! Its hard to see it when you are first starting out, but believe will become so much more clear as time goes on and you see more fruits of your labor. I still have doubts...but, not following my heart, and God's leading would leave me with bigger regrets and doubts. I know this from experience when I followed those doubts and enrolled Isabella in school when AShton was an infant. It only took to week 3 when Brian and I realized that we werent following God;s leading...and we brought her home. My heart was then at definitely is a calling and can only be done by GOd;s strength. I'll tell you what, Isabella and I always Hi-5 eachother when we see the other neighborhood kids stuck inside piled with homework at 5pm, and we are out riding bikes with her brothers and sister! Its awesome to no thave that homework burden!

weavermom said...

I'm so glad God sent you the right person to encourage you and challenge you! Whoo-hoo! :)

Joanne said...

I'm so glad you got your outside issues resolved :) You're doing a great job with your girls.

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. Yes, homeschooling is a life of ups and downs. I get completely burned out at least twice a year! It's funny - I've had the same thougths about being on the phone w/ friends... our daily schedules are just not on the same page.
But my daily routine is similar to yours, so i'll email you my digits and the next time you're having a low moment, give me a ring! ;-)